Nurburgring WTCC: Michelisz takes Nordschleife pole by 0.6s

Honda’s Norbert Michelisz has taken pole position at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, with practice pacesetter Nicky Catsburg unable to challenge after suffering a vibration on his final run.

Nurburgring WTCC: Michelisz takes Nordschleife pole by 0.6s
Norbert Michelisz, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Nicky Catsburg, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
Rob Huff, All-Inkl Motorsport, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Tom Coronel, Roal Motorsport, Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
Thed Björk, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1

Michelisz produced a stunning lap around the 25km circuit in the 40-minute qualifying session, which took place in much warmer conditions than this morning’s practice session.

The Hungarian's time was 8m38.072s, six tenths of a second faster than Volvo driver Catsburg, with the Nurburgring expert having to back off in the final sector while he was set to improve, reporting a problem with his front-right tyre.

Rob Huff, who had topped the Thursday morning test session, suffered a technical issue ahead of his final run on the Grand Prix loop, but was able to go around again and start another lap.

The Munnich Citroen driver took third with a steady lap, 1.5s from Michelisz and slotting ahead of championship leader Tiago Monteiro in the Honda.

Thed Bjork was the second fastest of the Volvos in fifth, while teammate Nestor Girolami was set to improve before the team advised him to back off after he was safe in 10th, which would secure him pole position for the opening race on Saturday with the reversed grid.

Tom Chilton was sixth in his Sebastien Loeb Racing-run Citroen ahead of ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet driver Tom Coronel, the SLR Citroen of Mehdi Bennani and the Campos Chevrolet of Esteban Guerrieri.

Honda’s Ryo Michigami just missed out on the top 10 in the Honda, while Yann Ehrlacher qualified 12th in the repaired RC Motorsport Lada, with the 20-year-old Frenchman sporting a limp in the paddock since his crash in FP1 on Thursday evening.

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

Qualifying results:

Pos.DriverChassisTimeGap
1 hungary Norbert Michelisz  Honda 8'38.072  
2 netherlands Nicky Catsburg  Volvo 8'38.680 0.608
3 united_kingdom Rob Huff  Citroën 8'39.541 1.469
4 portugal Tiago Monteiro  Honda 8'40.202 2.130
5 sweden Thed Björk  Volvo 8'40.996 2.924
6 united_kingdom Tom Chilton  Citroën 8'42.356 4.284
7 netherlands Tom Coronel  Chevrolet 8'43.393 5.321
8 morocco Mehdi Bennani  Citroën 8'43.533 5.461
9 argentina Esteban Guerrieri  Chevrolet 8'43.689 5.617
10 argentina Nestor Girolami  Volvo 8'44.630 6.558
11 japan Ryo Michigami  Honda 8'45.845 7.773
12 france Yann Ehrlacher  LADA 8'45.925 7.853
13 france John Filippi  Citroën 8'46.002 7.930
14 united_states Kevin Gleason  LADA 8'47.215 9.143
15 france Aurelien Panis  Honda 8'51.021 12.949
16 hungary Daniel Nagy  Honda 8'54.909 16.837
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